Thursday, January 2, 2020

Review + GIVEAWAY: The Amish Marriage Bargain by Marie E. Bast

About the Book

Book: The Amish Marriage Bargain
Author: Marie E. Bast
Genre: Amish
Release Date: December 17, 2019

Will a baby girl bring them together at last?

She’ll do anything for her niece…Even marry the man who broke her heart.

Nothing can keep May Bender in her Amish hometown—except caring for her baby niece. But the bishop insists that May also marry her widowed brother-in-law, Thad Hochstedler—the beau who jilted her to wed her sister. Can May risk her heart long enough to learn the real reason for Thad’s first marriage…and possibly rediscover their love?

Click here to get your copy!  

My Thoughts

I enjoyed The Amish Marriage Bargain by an author who is new to me, Marie E. Bast. For a Love Inspired book, there’s more character depth and layering than I would have expected, adding richness to this marriage-of-convenience story. The narrative flows steadily and the small Iowa Amish community is vividly conveyed.

May and Thad are appealing, hard working, and honorable lead characters, thrust into a difficult situation that, although I knew things would eventually work out, captured my attention as I journeyed with them. And what a situation they find themselves in! May had dated and been in love with Thad in the past, only to be jilted when he married her sister, April, instead. Upon April’s death, Thad inherited the family farm where May is living temporarily as she helps care for his precious daughter, Leah.

As the story opens, May is faced with an important decision – accept her aunt’s offer to work in her Indiana bakery or marry Thad. “She wanted to be Leah’s mamm, and Thad came along as baggage.” The author did a good job of keeping me engaged as she slowly peeled back layers throughout the story.

Another aspect to the story that I enjoyed was the struggle of small dairy farmers to survive in light of government USDA regulations. It was fun to see May’s creative side kick into high gear as she came up with the idea of making cheese as a way to save their family farm. I also enjoyed her interaction with the Amish bishop, who had certainly met his match in May.

On a spiritual level, the story highlights the difference – and difficulty – between the mental process of forgiving because the church’s teaching commands it vs. letting go and forgiving from the heart, and that’s something readers can all relate to.

I enjoyed The Amish Marriage Bargain and look forward to more stories from Marie E. Bast.


I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

About the Author

      Marie E. Bast is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author. Her stories whisper words of hope and healing through complex characters and twisting plots. She enjoys writing Amish, contemporary and historical stories. 
      Married for twenty-eight years, Marie and her husband have two grown sons and one daughter. When she’s not writing, she’s walking, golfing, gardening or spending time with her family. Visit her website at or follower her on social media. 

More from Marie

Did you know that until as late as the twentieth century, marriage was never based on love? 

In fact, the institution of marriage predates recorded history. But in ancient biblical times, the reasons for marriage are numerous. The kings, nobility, wealthy, and aristocratic families used arranged marriages to ensure loyalty between kingdoms, which forced a united bound and ensured the integrity of their inheritance and the family wealth. 

Arranged marriages, marriages of convenience, and marriage bargains were practical to keep property and kingdoms intact and in the family line. But these marriage contracts also spilled over into the commoners’ lives. In times of poverty, a daughter was only another mouth to feed and therefore a burden on the family. That fueled the arranged marriages where the groom gave the family money, animals, or some other commodity in exchange for the marriage. 

Also, arranged marriages were instrumental for women over the age of 30 who were unwed. Even in the nineteenth century, many women would find that a marriage of convenience was the way to go. Often, a widower needed a mother and housekeeper for his family, and sometimes a woman without means to support herself would readily accept a marriage of convenience. Even today, some cultures still use arranged marriages. 

But one of the most unique marriage of convenience is the marriage bargain, and that is the central theme to my newest book, The Amish Marriage Bargain, which releases in book form December 17, 2019, and eBook January 1, 2020. The marriage bargain is the specific negotiation of the terms of the agreement regarding a particular situation and often included land. 

After her sister dies, May Bender will do anything for her niece…Even marry the man who broke her heart. But like the days of old, the bargain goes deeper than that.


To celebrate her tour, Marie is giving away to four winners each a $25 Amazon card will also receive a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. Giveaway ends January 17.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, January 2
The Avid Reader, January 3
Texas Book-aholic, January 4
Vicky Sluiter, January 4
Mary Hake, January 4
Among the Reads, January 6
Betti Mace, January 6
Older & Smarter?, January 7
Batya’s Bits, January 7
janicesbookreviews, January 8
Hallie Reads, January 8
Bigreadersite, January 10
She Lives to Read, January 11
Quiet Quilter, January 12
Pause for Tales, January 12
EmpowerMoms, January 14
Splashes of Joy , January 15


  1. This book sounds like a really good read.

  2. This sounds really interesting!

  3. I look forward to reading this book.

  4. “Thad came along as baggage.” Sounds like a great read!

  5. Really good book. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I really enjoy reading Amish fiction. Sounds like a book I would like to read.

  7. Sure would enjoy reading this as i like Amish fiction. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com